Of all the voices heard this field hockey season, none have been louder than the Class of 2014.
Just how talented is this class? Ten of 14 players named All-Western New York are juniors. The team is chosen annual by a panel of area coaches. Williamsville South and Iroquois landed three players each.
Williamsville South should be on top of the field hockey world next year after securing three first teamers on this year’s team - all juniors.
Arguably the most accomplished is the Billies’ Mia Martin, who has verbally committed to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., members of the Big Ten.
In 2012, she led South (14-3-2) to the Class A Sectional final, a share of the ECIC II title while leading the league in scoring with 26 goals. She carries a 95 average, was team captain and has been a three-year starter. “Her individual skills and overall field hockey game is really head and shoulders above a lot of players,” said coach Mary Ferenczy.
The South coach also said Morgan Maley has great game sense, never gives up and technically is a very solid player.
Allison Staebell of South inspired her teammates with her play in goal. In their overtime tie with Clarence she ran to the 25-yard line to stop a breakaway.
Here’s a look at this season’s big winners:
Class A: Williamsville North won Sectionals for sixth year in a row and ninth time in last 10 years. Garnering All-WNY honors for first-year coach Sara Columbo-Ark was senior Elisa Kellner. North reached the state final four where they were eliminated by Sachem East. Kellner was on the undefeated state championship team in 2010.
Class B: Iroquois won its first Sectional title since going back-to-back in 2006-2007. The Chiefs landed Meghan Fonfara, Kirsten Audette and Maddy Geil. Fonfara enters her senior year with 55 career goals. She made big strides this season on positioning herself and becoming a more skilled player.
Audette and Geil were part of a defense that allowed just seven goals during the regular season. Despite the loss of 10 seniors, the Chiefs overachieved this year, finishing 17-1-2 with the loss coming in the Far West Regionals to Pittsford-Sutherland. Their record includes wins at the Penfield and Pioneer Tournaments.
Class C: Barker won its fifth Class C title in a row. They advanced to the state final four where they were eliminated by Southampton. Olivia Denny had led the Raiders to two final four appearances in her three seasons. She was second in the league in scoring with 21 goals.
• Kenmore East and West combined teams this season and finished an impressive 9-1-1. West’s Kaeli Mathias had a monster junior year with 37 points, many of her goals coming on assists from her sister Brianna. Kaeli’s other big numbers include a 104.7 academic average. Among her more memorable games was a 5-1 win over Orchard Park played in the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. She’s a four-year starter with her senior year to go.
• Taylor Wolf of Hamburg is taking her goalie skills to the college level, but instead of field hockey she will play lacrosse at Niagara University, where she signed a partial athletic scholarship last month. Wolf had 7.5 shutouts this season. The Bulldogs won two Section VI titles (2010, 2011) in her three seasons.
• Winning division titles were Clarence (ECIC I), Hamburg and Williamsville South (ECIC II), Iroquois (ECIC III), and Barker (Niagara-Orleans). Iroquois finished as the No. 1 ranked team in the final WNY Coaches poll. Jen Carriero of Eden and Pete Tonsoline of Iroquois were named ECIC Coaches of the Year.